On your commute today, did you spy a paperback with a green label on the cover? It was probably one of hundreds of books deliberately placed on buses, trains, trams and ferries by the people behind the Stella Prize, an annual award celebrating writing by womxn.

The new initiative is all about getting us off our screens and into one of the excellent reads written by women and non-binary authors, including previous Stella Prize winners Charlotte Wood and Thuy On. The label reads: “This book is free. Take. Read. Keep or pass on.” Five hundred books have been donated by publishers, and more will be dropped on public transport throughout winter.

“With Stella on the Go, we want to ensure diverse stories reach as many people as possible and inspire new generations of readers. There is so much scientific research to back up the health benefits of reading, we want to assist with breaking down the financial barrier between readers and reading,” said Stella CEO Fiona Sweet in a statement.

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Readers are invited to share their experience on Instagram and Tiktok with the hashtag #stellaonthego.

stella.org.au